Fa is a member of ‘The People’ in The Inheritors. Although not explicitly stated, it is likely that she is the mother of Liku, and is the partner of Lok, the main protagonist. Fa displays a high level of intelligence in comparison to her Neanderthal family, and in the course of the novel, manages to develop a method for transporting water, by using shells, which the old woman says is ‘a new thing’. She also comes close to inventing gardening.

‘I have a picture. The good food is growing. Not here. It is growing by the fall.’

Fa is able to understand the fate of Liku at the hands of the ‘New People’, and tries to protect Lok from the awful truth. When Lok and Fa are the only members of the group left, she takes charge, and plots to rescue Nil’s baby, known as the ‘new one’, who has been kidnapped. In the final showdown, something is thrown at Fa, and Golding subtly shifts the narrative perspective…